2.2m kids in conflict areas risk being left behind
KUALA LUMPUR: About 2.2 million children living in remote, conflict-hit parts of Myanmar could be left behind as the country rapidly develops following decades of military rule, the United Nations said yesterday.
The United Nations Children’s Fund (Unicef) called for greater humanitarian access to ensure that youngsters in the country had a bright future.
The Myanmar military ceded power to a nominally civilian government in 2011 after nearly half a century of iron-fisted rule, ushering in reforms and opening one of Southeast Asia’s poorest countries to foreign investors.
Although social and economic measures rolled out by the government since then have helped improve health, education and protection for children, Unicef said children in the country’s remote parts were yet to benefit.
“Myanmar faces a real challenge in ensuring that children everywhere, and not just in urban areas, gain from the country’s rapid development,” Unicef deputy executive director Justin Forsyth said.
The agency said a second major peace conference with ethnic armed groups taking place in Myanmar this week was an opportunity for the government to commit to stronger protections for children, who account for about a third of the country’s 53 million people. Reuters